Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay - Santa Maria Valley AVA

Only 171 cases produced!

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Tasting Notes

Indie Winemakers' Tasting Notes

Our mission is to provide unbiased opinions of the wine being offered. These notes come from up to 10 guests who tasted this wine in a blind tasting format (wine is concealed so their identity is unknown). Why this format? Tasting blind completely throws out any hype associated with a certain winery, style, price point, etc; it forces the taster to accept what is in the glass without any predetermined notions. Our guests utilize Robert Parker's Glossary of Wine Terms for their comments for consistency purposes. In addition, we utilize the wine aroma wheel to enhance one’s ability to describe the complexity of wine flavor. Notes are posted on this wine during the tasting to ensure they accurately reflect the impressions.

Tasting Notes

  • BH:Light yellow in color. Nose is crisp and clean citrus. Tasted lemon - great acid!
  • JH: Pale straw appearance. Nose showed lots of citrus fruit, some wood in background. Full mouthfeel with high acid and long finish.
  • DJO: Light straw appearance. Nose showed lots of citrus mainly grapefruit. I tasted peaches with a bit of pit, full mouthfeel with high acid.
  • MA:Bright straw yellow with no rim variation. Nose is clean, with citrus and butter. Very smooth, coats mouth with lemon and butter. Huge acid backbone gives this wine a very long finish. Voted best crafted wine of the evening (12 wines were tasted in this event).
  • RA: Good clarity, light straw yellow in color. Nose has a citrus, buttery scent with the taste of lemmon and malolactic acid. Long finish.

Technical Data

Wine Technical Data
Blend 100% Chardonnay
Appelation Santa Maria Valley AVA
Harvest Dates September 21 and 27, 2005
Sugar at Harvest 25.1 degrees average Brix (two vineyards)
Fermentation Crushed and de-stemmed, 78% barrel fermented with malolactic, 22% fermented in stainless steel
Aging / Cooperage Three quarters of this lot spent 11 months in French Oak, and the remainder in stainless steel:
  • Coopers: Radoux, Seguin Moreau, Nadalie
  • Forests: Allier, Vosges and Center of France
  • Toasting: Medium with toasted heads
Alcohol 14.4% by volume
Acidity pH: 3.36

Technical Notes - Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay - Santa Maria Valley AVA

Only 171 cases of this 100% Chardonnay were produced. This chardonnay was fermented separately, and later blended to produce a wonderfully complex wine. A proportion of this blend was barrel fermented, and aged in a mix of neutral and newer French oak for 11 months. Another portion of the wine was fermented and aged in stainless a stainless steel tank. The wine was handled with minimal processing to retain the most possible flavor and reflect the terroir of the vineyards. It was not heat or cold stabilized so may be a bit delicate (don’t refrigerate for long periods but store at proper white wine cellar temperature). No fining was done but a filtration was performed before bottling.

About the Vineyards

This wine was produced with Chardonnay from two premiere vineyards of the Santa Maria Valley. They are in relatively cool locations near the Pacific, typically with a breeze from the ocean. This moderates the temperatures and optimizes the ripening season for varietals such as Chardonnay. It has been twelve years since our first Chardonnay was produced from these vineyards. We have often done single vineyard versions, but these two vineyards complemented each other so well in 2005 that a blend of the two lots was the best choice.

About the Vintage

An excellent harvest year, 2005 is famous in much of California for the high quality and yields. For our Chardonnay, the 2005 harvest presented a bit of a challenge that actually resulted in more evenly developed fruit. Cool temperatures in the early part of the season kept acid levels high, so a longer hang time was required for the pH to rise. The temperatures did allow a slow enough rise that although sugar levels rose, the fruit was balanced at harvest, with wonderful maturity of flavor. A higher than usual alcohol level resulted, which has very nicely matched with the accentuated structure and complexity of the fruit from this harvest.

Winemaker's tasting notes

Truly a crowd pleaser, this is my favorite Chardonnay. It’s a beautiful example of Santa Barbara Chardonnay, with a wonderful light gold color and a nose of green apple and pear. Soft and full, this is an integrated wine with great fruit up front, and a lightness through the mid palate leading to pleasant acidity, a splash of very lightly toasted oak with a hint of vanilla and caramel carrying you through a long finish.

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